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March 1977

Sulfonylurea-Induced Factitious Hypoglycemia: A Growing Problem

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medical Research, Portland Veterans Administration Hospital (Dr Jordan), Providence Medical Center (Dr Kammer), and the Division of Metabolism, University of Oregon Health Sciences Center (Dr Riddle), Portland, Ore.

Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(3):390-393. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630150084023

Two patients had sulfonylurea-induced factitious hypoglycemia. Both patients demonstrated hyperinsulinism during hypoglycemia suggesting the presence of an insulin-secreting tumor. One patient underwent an exploratory laparotomy with subtotal pancreatectomy before the etiology of the hypoglycemia was discovered. In both patients, the diagnosis was made by detecting sulfonylurea agents in blood. A survey of Portland, Ore metropolitan hospitals suggests that factitious hypoglycemia occurs with a frequency similar to the insulinoma syndrome. The biochemical similarity of these disorders and the apparent increasing incidence of factitious hypoglycemia suggests that blood determinations of sulfonylurea agents should be performed prior to exploratory laparotomy for an insulinoma.

(Arch Intern Med 137:390-393, 1977)

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